Wenger in Gilberto delight
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed his delight at the return of midfielder Gilberto Silva from injury.
The Brazilian World Cup winner is set to return for The Gunners for the first time since September after being sidelined with a back injury that threatened to end his career.
Despite the difficulties, the South American talent has overcome the problem to be available for Arsenal's home clash with bottom club Norwich City on Saturday.
Wenger underlined how important Gilberto has become to his squad by how much he was missed while he was sidelined.
"The positive thing is when he didn't play, people realised how important he is and he became a more highly-rated player," Wenger said.
"It's not only because he protects the centre backs, it's also because he's good in the air and we have conceded many goals from crosses this season.
"It's a shame as sometimes people, who have real team attitude rather that a flashy one, only get that kind of recognition when they don't play.
"People forget that Gilberto is a world champion, but he's a quiet guy and he doesn't want special attention.
"I wouldn't like to diminish the merits of Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini, as we've still had a reasonable season, as they've done extremely well.
"But when we didn't have Edu, Gilberto and Vieira together, we were a bit young."